Saints will likely need to move players on first if they are to sign anyone else this summer, according to Mark Hughes.

The club have been proactive in their transfer business this summer and stolen a march by completing four deals already.

It has given manager Hughes time to work with his squad ahead of the new season, which is now less than three weeks away.

Saints fans are still hoping to see more new faces arrive at St Mary’s, but with around £51m having been spent this summer and just £15m recouped by the sale of Dusan Tadic, Hughes admitted players will likely need to leave if there are to be new arrivals.

He said: “We will see. We will probably have to sell or allow players to go out of the club if we are likely to bring anybody in now I would think.

“You never know. We have still got a couple of weeks before the start of the season and things present themselves as we know.

“We have to be ready if we are able to to get in the right type of player who can help us.

“We have done ok. We have done early business which we are pleased about but you are always on the lookout.”

Saints were keen to get business done early to avoid being caught by the change in transfer rules which will this season see the window shut before the Premier League campaign gets underway.

However, the transfer windows across other major European leagues will still be open, in theory allowing clubs from other countries the chance to try and sign players from England.

Hughes made it clear, however, that Saints have committed to the close of the English window being the end of their business come what may.

“I think players and agents will have to understand that once our window closes nobody is going out,” he insisted.

“That is going to be our stance.

“I would have thought if they’ve got any sense that would be the stance of everybody because once you’ve done your business and the season starts that’s the whole point of doing it.”